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Fried Halloumi Cheese #Vegetarian #Palestine #Recipe 11/03/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Appetizers, Breakfast Dishes, Side Dish, Snacks.
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Fried Halloumi Cheese #Vegetarian #Palestine #Recipe

olive oil (for frying)
300 g halloumi cheese (see NOTE below)
plain flour, for dusting (all purpose)
fresh mint leaves

Dry the cheese with paper towels and slice into 8.

Heat the oil over medium heat.

Dust the cheese slices in the flour and fry for 1 minute a side or until golden.

Serve immediately, garnished with mint leaves.

Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goats’ and sheep milk, and sometimes also cows’ milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. Halloumi is set with rennet and is unusual in that no acid or acid-producing bacterium is used in its preparation.
The cheese is white, with a distinctive layered texture, similar to mozzarella and has a salty flavour. It is stored in its natural juices with salt-water and can keep for up to a year if frozen.
The cheese is often used in cooking and can be fried until brown without melting, owing to its higher-than-normal melting point. This makes it an excellent cheese for frying or grilling (e.g. in saganaki) or fried and served with vegetables, as an ingredient in salads.
Many people in Palestine also like halloumi that has been aged; kept in its own brine, it is much drier, much stronger and much saltier. This cheese is very different from the milder halloumi that Western chefs use as an ingredient.
It is often garnished with mint to add to the taste. Traditionally, the mint leaves were used as a preservative, this practice arising from the serendipitous discovery that Halloumi kept better and was fresher and more flavoursome when wrapped with mint leaves. In accordance with this tradition, many packages of halloumi contain fragments of mint leaves on the surface of the cheese.

Recipe Hummus #Palestine #Authentic 11/03/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Hummus, Side Dish, Snacks.
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Hummus with Tahini recipe


250g chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
2 lemons, juice of
3 tablespoons tahini
3 garlic cloves, crushed
salt to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped


Drain the chickpeas and simmer in fresh water for about an hour or until tender. Reserve the cooking water.

Process the chickpeas in a blender (or food processor) with the lemon juice, tahina, garlic, olive oil, salt and enough of the cooking liquid to obtain a soft creamy consistency.

Serve on a flat plate, garnished with a dribble of olive oil, a dusting of paprika and ground cumin (this is usually done in the shape of a cross) and a little parsley.

Serve with warm pita bread for dipping.

♦ ♦ ♦   Tips   ♦ ♦ ♦


use bicarb’ of soda in the soaking water but make sure you rinse the chickpeas before boiling

soak dried chickpeas overnight for the best results

quick start – use boiled hot water (not tap hot water) if you’re pressed for time


remove the froth from the water as you boil the chickpeas

simmer soaked chickpeas for 1-2 hours for nice soft chickpeas
simmer canned chickpeas for half an hour

don’t forget to save some of the cooking water for the blend!


a traditional pestle will give texture
a blender will make it ‘creamier’

use the same pestle to mash that you crushed the garlic and spices with for little extra flavour

crush the garlic and salt in a mortar, use the pestle to mash the chickpeas for extra flavour

from  book – Arabesque

Roasted chickpea and tomato salad with Arab Bread 05/19/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Salads, Sandwiches/Fast Food, Snacks.
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Serves 1-2

400g tin chickpeas, drained (240g when drained)
2tsp paprika
1/2tsp chilli powder
2tbsp oil
150g cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped

Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F). In a bowl, combine the drained chickpeas, oil, paprika and chilli powder, and spread the mixture out in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway, or until slightly browned and crispy.

Meanwhile, combine the quartered tomatoes, parsley and chopped spring onions in a bowl. Add the roasted chickpeas and stir to combine.

Serve with warmed arab bread.


Palestinian easter Tradition: Bread rings with sesame seeds and mahlab (ka’ak) 04/04/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Breakfast Dishes, Easter Traditions, Snacks, Sweets.
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Bread rings with sesame seeds and mahlab (ka’ak)INGREDIENTS:3 1/3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 cup of water

2 teaspoons of yeast

2 teaspoons of sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of mahlab (optional) Note below on substitutes


Place the flour and salt and mahlab in a mixing bowl. Combine the dry ingredients for a few seconds.
Proof the yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water and the sugar for a few minutes.
Add the oil to the flour mixture and combine well until the flour particles are moistened.
Add the yeast mixture, add the warm milk, mix with the dough hook or by hand until you get a firm ball.
Let it rest covered for 15 minutes. Knead again 2 minutes then let it rise in a bowl that has been covered with a thin film of oil; cover the dough with a film of oil as well. Set it in a warm place to rise for at least one hour, until doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl, fold it like an envelope and let it rise again, covering it with a towel.
When the dough has doubled in volume, form into 20 balls. Cover with a damp towel and let them rise.
Form each ball into a long rope. Cut into smaller ropes and press the ends to form a ring. Brush some egg on each ring and sprinkle sesame seeds on the rings. Cover with a wet (but squeezed dry) towel and let them rest and rise for 45 minutes.
Bake in a 375F oven for about 15 minutes till golden. Then reduce the oven to 175F and let them dry out for another 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped with a knife.

You can order mahlab online through a number of purveyors, including penzey’s. www.penzeys.com

Mahlab can be found in Greek stores. You can substitute one of these: ground fennel seeds, ground cardamom, or ground Chinese almonds. OR, grind one 2-inch cinnamon stick with three cloves and one bay leaf . greekfood.about.com/od/herbsspices/p/mahlap.htm

 — at Palestine .

Palestine Brings Eggplant Dip to our Vegan table! 04/04/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Appetizers, Salads, Side Dish, Snacks.
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– 1 big eggplant (about 1 pound) 
– 1/4 cup tahini 
– 3/4 cup yogurt
– 3 gloves mashed garlic
– 1 teaspoon lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt to taste. 


1. Grill the eggplant until it’s perfectly done and very soft all through. I usually throw a couple
eggplants on the side of the grill every time we do some grilling. When they are done, let them
cool then peel and preserve them in the freezer in small bags. When you need grilled eggplants,
defrost one bag and put it in a colander to drain excess water.
2. In a mixing bowl, add the other ingredients except the olive oil and mix well.
3. Cut the eggplant into rough chunks and add to the previous mixture.
4. Scoop in a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil.
5. It tastes best when it is cool, so you can take it out of the refrigerator and set aside for

Palestinian Spinach Vegan Pies 01/26/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Main Dishes, Snacks.
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The spinach filling in these fatayer, inspired by a recipe from Palestinian-born baker Maha Ziadeh, is filled with lemon and sumac, a tangy Middle Eastern spice. Ziadeh forms the pies into a triangle, but the half-moon shape here is simpler to do. To get this recipe see this link: http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/palestinian-spinach-pies-recipe

Palestine: Hummus for the Vegan, Passion for the Soul 01/26/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Snacks.
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In Arabic hummus means chick pea, the main ingredient of this healthy Mediterranean diet recipe. As it happens, every family seems to have its own authentic recipe, which in fact adds to our culinary enjoyment.

After trying different hummus recipes, I usually make the one I give you below: A traditional, quick and easy recipe that always gives me superb results.

If you follow the Mediterranean diet you should eat legumes at least once or twice a week, and this homemade hummus recipe is a very good option, particularly for children who don’t want to eat legumes.

Cut down on the garlic if your kids are not used to it, and add a little bit more of tahini. Make sure that you use real Lebanese tahini (sesame paste) or similar. It is much sweeter and lighter than the Western brands you usually find in health stores. Apart from the cooking of the chick peas, this hummus recipe is suitable for cooking with kids.

Hummus recipe name.

Ingredients for this hummus recipe

Serves 6 to 8 as appetizer

  • 2 cups (450 g) dry chick peas (garbanzo beans) – about 5 cups cooked
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) tahini (sesame paste)
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) lemon juice – freshly pressed
  • 3 cloves garlic – peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water (use chickpea cooking water, if you have it available) – optional
  • 2 or more tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat Italian parsley – as garnish

Hummus recipe preparation instructions

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes (not counting cooking the chick peas

First method: More manual; it’s how I like to do it

    1. Cook the chick peas and drain them. Click to learn how to cook chickpeas for the hummus recipe.
    1. Crush and mash the garbanzo beans with a food mill or blender.
      • If you use a food processor, be careful not to liquidize the chick peas.
    1. Add the salt and peeled garlic cloves to a mortar and crush them. Add the tahini and lemon juice alternately to the same mortar and mix well with the pestle or a wooden spoon.
    1. Pour the tahini mixture over the pureed chick peas, and work it with a whisker or wooden spoon until you obtain a smooth and thick, but soft paste.
      • If you find the consistency of the hummus too thick, add lemon juice and/or water. Do not add a lot of water, though, or you’ll compromise the flavor. Likewise, do not add too much lemon juice, or it will only taste to lemon.
    1. Pour the hummus onto a shallow serving plate.
    1. A moment before serving, drizzle some olive oil in the center and garnish with the chopped parsley.
  1. Serve chilled or at room temperature with radishes, pickles and green onions, as it is done traditionally.

Second method: Faster

    1. Place the chick peas, tahini, fresh lemon juice, peeled garlic cloves and salt in a blender and blend into a thick paste. Add water as needed. Take care not to liquidize the garbanzo beans.
    1. A few minutes before serving the hummus, decorate it with the chopped parsley. Drizzle olive oil in the center.
  1. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate for an hour and serve chilled.

Manakeesh Zaatar and cheese: Vegetarian in Palestine 01/06/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Breads, Snacks.
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Vegan Palestine Hummus: Dress it up the right way! 01/06/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Breakfast Dishes, Snacks.
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You may not own a hand etched brass platter, but you do have what it takes to make your Palestinian Hummus simply gorgeous!  Drizzle your extra-virgin olive oil from fair trade over your Palestinian hummus, toss on a few chick peas, paprika, and parsley…add that Arab bread, and its going to become your basic staple energy pick-up!

Palestine Vegan Falafel: No ‘mix’ needed, totally fresh! 01/06/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Sandwiches/Fast Food, Side Dish, Snacks.
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Chickpeas, dried — 1 cup
Breadcrumbs — 1/2 cup
Garlic, crushed — 2 to 3 cloves
Parsley, minced — 1/4 cup
Flour — 2 tablespoons
Salt — 1 to 2 teaspoons
Baking powder — 1 teaspoon
Ground coriander — 1 teaspoon
Ground cumin — 1 teaspoon
Turmeric (optional) — 1/2 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper — 1/2 teaspoon
Oil for deep frying

Place the chickpeas in a large saucepan and add water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and then cover tightly and remove from heat. Let set for 1 to 2 hours to soak.
Drain the chickpeas and rinse them with fresh water. Place the chickpeas, breadcrumbs and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the chickpeas break down into small pieces the size of breadcrumbs. Do not overprocess to a puree.
Remove the chickpea mixture to a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil and mix together well. The mixture should have a fairly dry, crumbly texture. Add a little water if it is too dry to form balls with your hand. Adjust seasoning to taste. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls or ovals and then flatten slightly.
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F, or heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Drop patties a few at a time into the hot oil and brown well on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the browned from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining patties.
Falafel can be served on its own with tahini sauce. Or stuff it in pita bread halves with tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and eat it like a sandwich.